Lowestoft leisure centre set for £1.1m boost
12:30 01 August 2014
The Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft is set for a £1.1m funding boost that will see its gym increased in size to meet growing public demand, it was revealed this week.
The 14-week expansion project will also see other facilities upgraded with the aim of attracting 750 new members – less than two years after the centre was rescued from the brink of insolvency.
The main focus of the work will be to increase the size of the gym by 50pc, with 150 stations located over two floors, a new functional training area and an extended free weights section with extra equipment.
The centre’s beauty therapy zone will be relocated alongside the day-spa area and a jacuzzi added to the thermal suite, with extra studio space created to provide greater capacity for classes.
Funding for the expansion has been provided by Waveney District Council after a study concluded that the budget for the works would be comfortably met by the increased revenues.
Once finished, it is hoped that membership figures will rise from 2,500 to 3,250.
The Waterlane Leisure Centre re-opened in January 2012 after an £8m redevelopment and is operated by Sentinel Leisure Trust, which runs facilities across Waveney in a partnership with the council.
Pulse Fitness, which oversaw the previous redevelopment, is carrying out the expansion work.
Stephen Ardley, Waveney’s deputy leader, said: “The original redevelopment allowed us to create a fantastic facility which has been really well received by the local community.
“Its popularity means that we now need to expand to meet demand and provide the best possible leisure services to our community. We have worked really hard with Sentinel Leisure Trust and Pulse Fitness to reach this position and we fully expect the £1.1m expansion to generate an increase in membership revenue which will more than cover the investment cost.”
Stuart Everett, managing director at Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “The success of the facility development has seen us reach capacity in our gym much more quickly than we expected. Demand for equipment at peak times has been high and has prompted the decision to increase capacity and equipment.
“It will also allow us to create space for up to date training methods such as functional training.
“The extra space and equipment will ensure that our existing members continue to enjoy their experience and it will further enhance our excellent reputation in the local area.”
The proposed expansion continues a major upturn in the centre’s fortunes.
In October 2012, the trust was just 24 hours from insolvency and had projected debts of £1.2m, leading to Waveney pumping in £300,000 and sending in strategic support.
Last November, it was reported the trust was on course to make a £315,000 profit and that the centre had had 463,181 visits between November 2012 and last October.